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Posted by s_simpson on March 17, 2003 at 11:50:13:
In Reply to: Re: BGF -- WW -- you're earlier discussion on venom and govt posted by WW on March 17, 2003 at 11:00:57:
My browser cut off the last couple paragraphs of your post, so I did miss the "flying pig" commentary. Sorry about that!
As far as the "what is to be done" angle... It's very difficult, to say the least. Education is probably the best and only long-term means to change anything.
I noticed something interesting this weekend at a local natural history museum -- they were having a "reptile and amphibian" day. The little kids (say six and under) were almost universally fascinated by the herps. As the age went up, I saw more and more fear and disgust. Not surprisingly, most of the kids who reacted poorly had parents who seemed to react poorly.
What that suggests to me is that if kids can be exposed to herps at a young age, they may well grow up to be unafraid of them. Given that I believe that a lot of the legislative basis is based at some point upon fear, this could be important in the long run.
Secondarily, I think the only other thing that can be done is to attempt to rationalize individual ownership of "potentially dangerous pets". I'm all in favor of personal liberties, but I'm also aware that one wahoo getting bit and killed by his pet cobra can pretty much bring an end to anybody owning one in that state (assuming it gets enough press...).
So, to that end, maybe there needs to be some sort of licensing (akin to Fla) that would classify pets according to their damage potential (say, one class for animals that are consistently lethal (elapids, vipers, etc), another for animals with the potential to inflict harm (like a FWC) and a third class for animals with minimal-to-zero potential (like a corn snake).
Bottom line, unfortunately, is that there's very little that is likely to ever happen on this. People, especially my fellow Americans these days, seem to revel in their ignorance. So long as that's the case, "rational" laws on these topics are probably never going to come to pass. It's too bad...